Yu En Ping
The Smelly Project
Dramaturg: Yu En Ping
Performer: Eglė Šimėnaitė, Mara Ingea, Susana Botero Santos
Space Designer: Anna Vohralíková
Sound Designer: Valtteri Alanen
The aim of this project is to conduct artistic research about animal olfaction with the goal of facilitating a performative/interactive situation for audience members to experience what it is like to use the sense of smell like different animals. The Smelly Project was initiated in May 2021 as a combination of research and experimentation, and has resulted in detailed research on several animal olfactory organs and their functions, focusing on how scent molecules travel from the air or water into olfactory systems, and on how odors are perceived by different animals. For example, few people know that at eels at their larva stage smell though the olfactory organs on their skin, taking odor molecules floating in the water.
Taking inspiration from this research, the artist works with materials, objects, sound, and speech as media to devise an intimate interactive workshop-like performance for small amount of audiences at a time to share a unique perceptual experience through the combination of visual, physical and audio stimuli. As an ongoing process, The Smelly Project explores three major themes: imagining and understanding otherness; ways of being together with the planet Earth; and the possible relationships between human and non-human beings on an experiential and sensory level. We live and breathe smell, smell is the color of air. Odors and scents influence humans physically and emotionally, and by conducting this project, the artist wishes to find a passage through smells to arrive at a place for empathy to happen.